Digicel and Homophobia in Guyana

The Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination calls on Digicel to ensure that the homophobia of Jamaican group T.O.K is not part of the Digicel Experience concert in Guyana scheduled for Wednesday 14 Feb, 2007.

T.O.K is one of the set of dancehall singers who have explicitly called for the killing of gay and lesbian people and whose performances have been cancelled worldwide after protests by Human Rights groups. The Human Rights Watch Report Homophobia, Violence, and Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic" available at (http://hrw.org/reports/2004/jamaica1104/ ) details the impact of homophobia in Jamaican society, and the relation between the violence of the music of T.O.K. and the continued persecution of gay and lesbian people in Jamaica. In July of 2006, LifeBeat, the US Industry music arm's HIV fundraiser cancelled a concert involving T.O.K after the protests at the homophobia of these artistes.

The participation of T.O.K. in any marketing or promotion event undermines the efforts of those Guyanese who are trying to build a socially cohesive society in which violence is not used to resolve conflicts or express any differences.

SASOD calls on the Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport specifically to ensure that entertainment events such as concerts in Guyana are free from homophobia and any calls to violence against any section of Guyanese society, including the homosexual population.

SASOD further calls on Digicel and T.O.K to publicly reject homophobia. Digicel should set a responsible standard for their participation in Guyana's economy by not condoning calls for the murder of any persons.
Tags: Offensive LyricsHomophobiaConcertDancehall